Nimmo shines as Emirates 
Arena track gets thumbs-up

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ATHLETICS: Tom Chandler is a member of Central Athletic Club in Stirling but he was also quick to thank Balfron High School after he finished fifth in the individual event and helped Scotland take the under-16 team silver at the Schools International Pentathlon Championships at the new Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

In the first athletics event to be staged at the 2014 Commonwealth Games venue, Taylor Nimmo (Graeme High School) stood out with personal bests in all five events in taking the fifth individual place in the boys’ over-16 championship.

“The track is amazing,” said the sixth year pupil. “It’s so fast and springy. I competed at the UK School Games at the Olympic Arena in May and this track is very similar and just as good.”

At the conclusion of the hectic programme, Nimmo collapsed in pain following the 800m – but he almost didn’t mind. “I pulled a hamstring, but I still set a personal best and I’m delighted with my overall performance,” he said.

“I’m a multi-discipline person but I would love to get the standard in one or two events for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. If I miss out on Glasgow, I definitely want to try for the 2018 Commonwealths on the Australian Gold Coast.”

Chandler was also in ground-breaking form. The 15-year-old set personal bests in the shot putt (11.08m), long jump (5.86m) and 60m hurdles (8.83 secs).

“Balfron High School are great,” he said. “I get to use the facilities and the head of PE, Mr McQuarrie, has helped me a lot with my shot putt.

“I’m a multi-event specialist and it was super to be able to represent Scotland. I definitely want to try and go on and take part in more internationals.”

Bruce Sorbie (Robert Gordon’s College), Silvano Marcantonio (St Augustine’s) and Euan Urquhart (Hyndland Secondary) were the other members of the silver medal team.

The under-18 girls also claimed silver and Emma Canning, who finished fourth in the under-16s at the Kelvin Hall last year, surpassed expectations with an individual fourth place.

Anna Nelson (Glenurquhart High School), who had a an excellent second place with a personal best 160cm in the high jump, Charlotte Robinson (St George’s) and Eilidh McEvilly (The High School of Glasgow) completed the team quartet.

“I’ve really surprised myself because I’m in the middle of hard winter training and I’m the youngest in the team,” said Emma, a fourth year pupil at 
St Aloysius’ College.

“I’ve had a good year. The highlight was winning a silver medal in the long jump at the Children’s Games in South Korea.

“My goal for next year is to do well at the English Championships and then the British Pentathlon Championships at Stoke next August.”

Scotland’s third team medal came with a bronze in the girls’ under-16 as two of last year’s team – fourth-placed Pamela McNicol (Carluke High School) and Alison Stewart (Calderglen High School) – were joined by Caitlin Edgar (Morrison’s Academy) and Sarah McDonald (Mearns Castle High School).